Originating in China and common in Asia, this small evergreen tree is prized for its heavily scented flowers which appear late in the year. The leaves are long and glossy, somewhat like Sweet Chestnut. In warmer climates it also produces fruit and is cultivated for these. However, ripe fruits are uncommon in the UK, likely due to the sensitivity of the fruit and flowers to low temperatures which causes them to fall. It often grows to around 3 to 4m but may reach as tall as 10m. There are said to be over 800 cultivars available in its native range. It was once thought to be related to the Medlar, still occasionally being referred to as Japanese Medlar. In China, the yellow fruits represent gold and wealth; their taste is said to be similar to a mix of peach, mango, and citrus.
Culture for Loquat
Most suited for outdoor planting in mild climates with shelter, it is also often grown under glass. Plants in colder climates are at risk of damage from low temperatures, especially hard frosts, on flowers, fruit, and tender young growth. Requires full sun and well-drained fertile acid soils (pH 4.5-6).White-fleshed cultivars may be themost tolerant of our cooler climate.
Concerns about Loquat
Appropriate climate. Mealybugs may be a problem under glass. Generally disease free, can be susceptible to aphids, scales, and Phytopthora. Can be susceptible to apple scab but often grafted onto resistant rootstocks.
Management Practices for Loquat
Generally disease free. Ensure adequate light and soil nutrition are available.